SEOUL—North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un said on Sunday that his country is finalizing preparations for a test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile, which would mark an advance in its attempt to build a nuclear weapon capable of reaching the U.S.

Mr. Kim, delivering a new-year address from Pyongyang on state television, also said that North Korea would continue to increase its military capabilities, with an emphasis on pre-emptive nuclear strikes, according to a transcript of his remarks by the Korean Central News Agency.

Mr. Kim said that North Korea would pursue nuclear development until the U.S. halts its annual military exercises in South Korea, reiterating a longtime demand of the government in Pyongyang.

KN-08 ballistic missiles in Pyongyang in October last year. North Korea has not yet test-launched the weapon.
KN-08 ballistic missiles in Pyongyang in October last year. North Korea has not yet test-launched the weapon. Photo: AP
While North Korea has made steady progress over the years toward being able to mount a weapon on a ballistic missile, experts have said that the isolated country is likely still about two or three years away from threatening the U.S. homeland.

 

Read the whole story from The Wall Street Journal.

Featured image courtesy of AFP.

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